December 1, 2021

Hands-on Halloween

Monsters in the Museum event makes Living History come alive

Valerie Puma/staff reporter

Luke Pendock, 4, paints a pumpkin at the CNY Living History Museum’s 4th annual Monsters in the Museum children’s event Saturday.

Four-year-old Luke Pendock concentrated on his paintbrush hovering just above a pumpkin the size of his head. He had an array of colors to choose from and intended to use them all.

Amanda Pendock, of Homer, brought her sons to the CNY Living History Museum Saturday for its 4th annual Monsters in the Museum Halloween.

Luke and his brother C.J., 7, went table to table trying the crafts and games.

“We’ve been here a couple of times before and we really like it here,” Amanda Pendock said.

Volunteers dressed in costume, teaching the kids how to do each activity and offering Halloween themed snacks and refreshments. Homeville Museum Curator Chuck Eaton said the goal with these events is to get children and their families interested in the museum.

“We hope to bring kids into the museum, we’re trying to really interact with the community as much as possible and show that we’re not just a museum — it’s living history,” Eaton said.

“We want to really live up to the name of being a living history center, where people can come and actually do things instead of just seeing artifacts and displays, but talking to collectors, seeing demonstrations and reenactments,” said board President Jamie Dangler.

“We came to the event last year and had a ton of fun — it was a lot of the same stuff, with pumpkin painting, bingo, Play-Doh,” Amanda Pendock said. During the pandemic, the museum was open at a limited capacity. “Being able to go through the museum is really fun because I’m a big history nerd and my oldest son really loves history, too.”

The Pendock boys said that once they finished their crafts, they were most excited for the museum’s train village.

SUNY Cortland senior Lucas Kaczynski, a member of the Homeville Museum board, said he’s always glad to see kids become invested in their community and its history.

“We really enjoy putting on these events for kids, to get them involved at the museum and show them that a museum isn’t impersonal or distant, but it’s a fun place to go,” Kaczynski said.